Hannah Sturgis to represent Delaware in 2016 Poetry Out Loud National Finals in Washington, DC




Poetry Out Loud
Photo Credit: Kathleen Buckalew

From a competitive field of more than eighteen Delaware high schools students, Hannah Sturgis, a junior from POLYTECH High School, earned the title of 2016 Poetry Out Loud Delaware State Champion at the state finals held in Smyrna, Delaware, on February 23. The first runner-up was Brandon Dawson from Middletown High School, and the second runner-up was Jordan McMillan from Sanford School.

Hannah Sturgis’s final recitation, Infelix by Adah Isaacs Menken, earned her high marks with the judges. The full poem can be found on the Poetry Foundation’s website.

For her winning presentation, Hannah Sturgis will receive $200 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC, with a chaperone to compete at the national championship from May 2-4, 2016. POLYTECH High School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books. Brandon Dawson, the first runner-up will receive $100, and Middletown High School will receive $200 towards the purchase of poetry books.

The Poetry Out Loud state competition, sponsored by the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation, is part of a national program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition.

To learn more about the State Finalists and for hi-res photos from the event, please see our page here.

Poetry Out LoudFrom left to right:
Al Mills, Delaware Poet Laureate; Hannah Sturgis, 2016 Winner; Jordan McMillan, Second Runner-Up; Brandon Dawson, First Runner-Up; Nnamdi Chukwuocha, Delaware Poet Laureate. Photo Credit: Kathleen Buckalew

Did you attend the event?
Tag us at @ArtsDelaware on Facebook and Twitter. Use the hashtags: #POL16, #iampoetryoutloud, and #Delaware 

2016 Poetry Out Loud – State Finalists

Name School
Tori Baker Brandywine High School
Phoebe Callard Cape Henlopen High School
Jessica Pigeon Caravel Academy
Christian Wills Concord High School
Brandon Dawson Middletown High School
Rebecca Pereira Mount Sophia Academy
Natalie Nwanekwu Newark Charter Jr./Sr. High School
Shannon Murray Padua Academy
Hannah Sturgis Polytech High School
Samuel Ogunwande Red Lion Christian Academy
Jordan McMillan Sanford School
Dylan Norman Seaford High School
Abbey Thompson St. Elizabeth High School
Mollie Russell St. Mark’s High School
Kana Turley Tall Oaks Classical School
Jane Krukiel Ursuline Academy
Samantha Drummond Wilmington Christian School
Gustavo Silveira Wilmington Friends School


To learn more about each high school student and their reasons for participating in Poetry Out Loud, please read their biographies here.

About Poetry Out Loud

The Delaware Division of the Arts sponsors the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest program in Delaware schools and the state finals. Competition begins at the classroom level in the fall and culminates with the state finals each spring. Eighteen schools and over 2,000 Delaware students participated in the Poetry Out Loud program in the current academic year. The Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest competition is presented in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. For more details about the partnership and program, see the program overview here.

About the Delaware Division of the Arts

The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit artsdel.org or call 302-577-8278.

Contact: Leeann Wallett, Program Officer, Communications and Marketing, 302-577-8280, leeann.wallett@delaware.gov

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